Match of the week
Langoustine ravioli and Errazuriz Las Pizarras chardonnay
Last Thursday’s dinner to celebrate Decanter’s 2018 Man of the Year, Eduardo Chadwick of Viña Errazuriz was a treat - a line-up of the winery’s very best wines. It was obviously sound thinking to pair two of his top reds, the Don Maximiliano Founder’s Reserve 2014 and Kai 2005 with fillet of beef but I thought the more intriguing match was the first course of langoustine ravioli with their 2015 Las Pizarras chardonnay.
The ravioli, which were stuffed with langoustine and served with a light creamy crab sauce, would have been a classic pairing for a white burgundy such as a Chassagne Montrachet but it was an equally good match with this finely textured, elegant, mineral chardonnay which comes from the cool climate Aconcagua Costa. You can buy it from The Vinorium for £51.25 a bottle, or from Hedonism for £58.80.
The only slightly jarring pairing for me, and I know it’s a practice that is widely followed in France, was to partner the best wines of the night - a still miraculously fresh Sena 1996 and the beautifully, mellow balanced Vinedo Chadwick 2000 - with the cheese course, a warm Reblochon croquette. I appreciate there’s a problem in that there are often too many fine reds to show off in a wine dinner but in my view you either need to put on two meat courses or use the plainest, least challenging cheeses for the cheese course. Cheese rarely does great reds any favours.
The Man of the Year award is important not only for Chadwick who richly deserves the accolade but for Chilean wine, the quality of which is appreciated by wine critics but not always by the wine-drinking public. You may regard Chile as a source of cheap and cheerful drinking but its top wines can now hold their own with the best in the world.
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